Date: 16th March 2016

Tasmanian sprint star, Jack Hale is a confirmed starter for the 2016 Woolworths Stawell Gift this Easter weekend.

Hale, the youngest semi-finalist at Stawell last year, is returning to Central Park with confidence having recently broken the Tasmanian 100m open record with a swift run of 10.31 at the Australian Junior Athletics Championships on the weekend.

The 17-year-old has lowered the Tasmanian open men’s 100m record four times and currently stands as the fastest Australian ever at the age of both 16 and 17, whilst also recording the third fastest time of any Australian athlete aged under 20. 

Having achieved his season goal of qualifying for the World Junior Championships in Poland later this year, Hale has now set his sights on making the Woolworths Stawell Gift Final.

Hale approaches this year’s Gift with more expectation than 12 months ago after strong performances in recent months. Having experienced the rich history and excitement of the Stawell Gift carnival, Hale feels he is much better placed to go a step further and make the final.

“I’m very excited to return to Stawell this year after such a great experience last year,” Hale said.

“This year I’m in much better shape coming off a 10.31 PB last week, so I’m hoping I can potentially advance to the final on Easter Monday,” Hale added.

Hale’s manager, Richard Welsh is also confident of a strong performance on the 120m Gift track.

“Jack’s done some amazing races since bursting onto the scene, but some of his best work has been in the pro’s.  At the Burnie New Years Day Carnival this year he made the final, despite running from -.5m after a false start. He then finished second in the final, so he’s hungry for a major pro victory,” Welsh said.

One of Hale’s rivals will be New Zealand’s fastest man, Joseph Millar who recently placed second in both the 100m and 200m at the IAFF Melbourne World Challenge. The 23-year-old from Tauranga has had an impressive season, placing 3rd in the Canberra Track 100m men’s with a time of 10.33 seconds, and also saw back to back wins at the Porritt Classic earlier this year. 

A full list of handicaps will be released at 11am Wednesday, 16 March.

The 135th edition of the Woolworths Stawell Gift carnival will take place from Saturday, March 26 – Monday, March 28, 2016

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